‘My back windshield shattered’: Witness recounts Indianapolis road rage shooting, moment bullet struck his car

Crime in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — A man has been charged in connection with an apparent road rage shooting that left a woman injured on Indianapolis’ northeast side.

It happened Friday, July 9 in the 4200 block of North Arlington Avenue around 5:30 p.m.

“An individual thought that somebody was following too closely behind them and slammed on their brakes. Somebody got out of the vehicle behind them and allegedly shot the occupant of that vehicle,” IMPD public information officer Lieutenant Shane Foley told CBS4 in an earlier interview.

A woman, who was the passenger in that car, suffered a gunshot wound to her back. She was transported to the hospital with injuries believed to be non-life threatening.

It turns out a second vehicle also sustained damage after being struck by gunfire during the incident. It was caught on camera, and it was likely that piece of video that assisted IMPD in being able to make an arrest.

“Honestly if it wasn’t for my dash cam, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the police anything. I didn’t see anything,” said Jeff, whose vehicle was struck by a bullet. He asked CBS4 only to identify him by his first name.

IMPD released still images on Monday, July 12 from the dash camera, hoping to receive the community’s assistance in identifying two people they believed to be involved in the incident.

One day later, Cam’ron Smith, 18, was arrested and police were able to identify the second person and determine that they did not commit a crime.

“The word got out, and we were able to identify the individuals involved in this incident and able to identify the person who allegedly did the shooting,” said Foley.

Smith is charged with criminal recklessness, a level 5 felony, for his alleged role in the shooting. Court records show Smith posted a $15,000 surety bond and was released Saturday night just after 10:30.

“I’m really grateful to whomever it was that helped get this person to get themselves turned in,” said Jeff. “I’m really grateful that someone in the community out there realizes that this kind of nonsense has to stop.”

According to court documents obtained by CBS4, detectives received a call from a woman who informed them the two individuals in the photos wanted to turn themselves in. According to a probable cause affidavit, the woman who called is related to Smith.

“[Redacted] stated that she saw a picture that was being presented on the news and when she saw it she recognized the two males…,” read the affidavit.

Foley credited the community for quickly spreading the word and images shared by the department.

“Our community is engaged with the police department, they are going to work with us, and if you commit a violent crime and people know who you are, there’s a pretty good chance you’re gonna go to jail,” he said. “The community’s assistance is essential to the police department working to make the community safer.”

“I had a hard time sleeping for a few days, and to be honest, just the response of the police and him being in custody has helped relieve a great deal of that,” said Jeff.

In new videos Jeff shared with CBS4, you can see him pull up to a red light at E. 42nd St. and N. Arlington Ave. Footage shows the vehicle that the female victim was a passenger in, on the right side of his car, behind him, the car that court documents say Smith was a passenger in.

In the video, you can see the driver of the Honda stop and get out of the vehicle. Behind him, Smith allegedly gets out and lifts his arm, pointing a gun. Seconds later, the glass on Jeff’s rear window can be seen shattering.

“I was on my way home, and all of a sudden, I heard this noise and then looked and my back windshield shattered,” he said. “I gunned it at that point. I hit the gas and took off and fumbling, trying to call police, looking out my side-view mirrors trying to see, are they chasing me?”

Jeff said he had no idea at that point what had happened. He got a hold of police and made it home, where he was met by officers.

“I was simply scared. By the time I actually looked at the footage, police were already here,” Jeff said. “At first you don’t even know why this happens, and then when you come later on to learn this was over rage — come on.”

At the same time, officers with IMPD responded to a 911 call in the area of 46th St. and N. Arlington Ave., where they located a woman, who was reportedly shot during the same incident.

According to court documents, the driver of the vehicle the victim was in noticed a red car following closely behind, proceed to merge over to the other lane and then cut him off. The driver then said he sped up and ended up stopped at the light at E. 42nd St.

“As he looked at the rearview mirror he heard two shots and sped away,” read the probable cause affidavit.

According to court documents, the woman told the driver that she had been shot. She then called police. According to documents, the driver told police neither he or anyone in the vehicle fired back at the suspect. They consented to a search of the car, which did not turn up any guns or illegal items.

Two bullet holes, according to court records, were located on the car the woman was inside when she was shot. The first hole was in the top right of the trunk, the second in the center of the license plate.

The woman was shot in the back, documents show.

“To really go through and fire a gun over that? That’s ridiculous,” said Jeff. “I hope in this city, that doesn’t become something you have to be worried about it all the time.”

Jeff said he is glad he invested in a dash camera for both the front and back of his car. He initially bought it in the event he was ever involved in an accident, that way he would be able to show what really happened. He said he never imagined he would catch something like this on camera.

“You gotta understand, a gun is a lethal weapon, and once you pull that trigger, you don’t control where that bullet goes,” said Jeff, “just the innocent bystanders that a bullet can hurt.”

He said he is grateful that one person in particular will be able to get some answers after this as a result of the equipment he put in his car when he recently bought it.

“I’m just glad I had the dash cam footage that was able to help the person who got the most hurt. She’s the one who deserves the most justice out of this,” he said. “I’m gonna be okay, you know, she’s the one that has a scar now for the rest of her life.

“I know I’m fortunate it was not worse.”

He said he hopes that this type of behavior stops and people will realize how quickly their actions could change, or end, a life.

“It has to stop. We can’t continue acting like this. We are better than this. All of us are better than this,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve just gotta let it roll off your back and move on.”

Jeff said he has a message for the person allegedly responsible for the crime: “You just gotta control yourself but also at the same time, I hope the young man remembers this isn’t the end of the world, and you know, I just seriously hope he’s sorry and works to better his life.”

CBS4 is working to get an update on the condition of the victim who was injured in the shooting.

According to court records, Smith told detectives he threw the gun into “a big trash can.” He also told detectives that he did not have a permit to carry a handgun.

Smith is due back in court, according to jail records, on Monday, July 19.

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